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Business Taxation

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to simplify business taxation. [27465]

Dawn Primarolo: A number of measures to simplify business taxation were contained in the Budget and pre- Budget reports, published in March 2001 and November respectively. Both these documents are available in the Library of the House.

Departmental PFI Contracts

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of PFI contracts made by his Department where an amount in excess of 90 per cent. of the capital value of the asset is recouped by the lessor out of the capital element of lease payments over the lifetime of the contract concerned; and if he will make a statement. [27697]

Mr. Andrew Smith: No such estimate has been made. The existing PFI contracts in the Departments are for the provision of a service in return for a unitary payment, the payment of which is dependent on satisfactory performance. The unitary payment is not broken down into constituent parts.

Public Sector Pay

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the impact of the public pay review bodies' recommendations will be on the public spending limits of 2001–07. [27921]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Public spending plans are settled in the spending reviews, and are not amended by reference to the recommendations of the pay review bodies. It is normal practice for Departments to accommodate pay awards within public spending limits.


Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is towards introducing reduced rates of VAT on organisations covered by category 14 of annexe H to the Sixth Directive. [26536]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 17 January 2002]: Not-for-profit welfare services provided by charities are already VAT exempt.

18 Jan 2002 : Column 511W

Drug Misuse

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list by Department the total amount allocated to tackling problems relating to drugs in each of the last 10 years. [27452]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I have been asked to reply.

Information on resources is not available in the form requested.

The Government have made available substantial resources for directly tackling the problem of drug misuse. A breakdown of funding allocated for the years 1995 to 2004 is as follows.

The first United Kingdom drugs strategy, "Tackling Drugs Together", was launched in May 1995 and allocated £8.8 million over three years to Drug Action Teams, £5.9 million on schools drug education for 1995–96, and £1 million in the same year for services to young people at an early stage of drug misuse.

For the present strategy "Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain", the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement provided an additional £217 million of resources for three years. The Spending Review 2000 (SR 2000) and the Budget 2001 provided further resources bringing total expenditure under the drugs strategy to nearly £1 billion by 2003–04—see Table A.

Furthermore, SR 2000 also supported a range of related programmes—see Table B—and following the Budget 2001, some additional investment was made, particularly to help Communities tackle drug misuse—see Table C.

Table A: 2000 Spending Review—resources directly allocated for tackling drug abuses (by main aim of the national anti-drugs strategy)(12)

Drug treatment(14)234328377401
Protecting young people639097120
Safeguarding communities45798195
Reducing availability(15)353373376380

(12) Excludes devolved spending

(13) Estimates of baseline spend in Departmental Expenditure Limits

(14) Comprises mainstream spending by the Department of Health, local authorities and the pooled National Treatment Agency (NTA) budget. Excludes additional Prison Service treatment spend, brigaded under Communities

(15) UK spend for 2001–02 to 2003–04 includes the anti-drugs share of the £90 million approved for combating organised crime

Table B: 2000 Spending Review—new resources provided for related programmes(16)

Criminal Justice System1,4202,2902,720
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund200300400
Children's Fund100150200

(16) Excludes devolved spending

(17) This was added to existing provision for the careers service. Funding will continue to go to the careers service in areas where Connexions is not yet running

(18) Provision for 2003–04 will be announced in due course

18 Jan 2002 : Column 512W

Table C: Budget 2001—new resources for anti-drugs measures(19)

Strengthening communities5070100
Extending drug testing in the CJS02030
Providing more help to find jobs51520
Strengthening DATs555
Expanding Positive Futures23(20)

(19) Excludes devolved spending

(20) Provision to be decided in the light of other sources of funding


Home Energy Efficiency

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) how much is invested annually into household energy efficiency and (b) how this money is spent. [25625]

Mr. Meacher: The Government estimate that during 2000 (the most recent year for which figures are available) the total investment in household energy efficiency measures was approximately £250 million (excluding double glazing). The breakdown for the major items of this expenditure is:

£ million
Loft insulation90
Cavity wall insulation70
Draught proofing20
Condensing boilers(21)10
Tank insulation5

(21) This figure includes only the fraction of the total cost of the boiler assumed to represent the additional cost of the increased energy efficiency.

Although installing double glazing in homes does increase the energy efficiency of the building it is rare that double glazing is installed for energy efficiency reasons alone. Hence, expenditure on double glazing is excluded from the figures. However, the Government estimate that the energy efficiency component of double glazing installations totals some £500 million p.a.

Home Heating

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will install heating equipment at the house of Mrs. Anita Farrow of Ashburton, a constituent; and if she will make a statement on the reason for the delay. [24955]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 9 January 2002]: The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES), now marketed as The Warm Front Team, is administered in south-west England by the Eaga Partnership Ltd. Eaga advise that contractors are due to complete the work on Mrs. Farrow's property by the end of this month.

The delay was mainly due to the original heating contractor declining to carry out the work after having agreed to do so. It took some time to locate an alternative contractor and resolve a shortage of suitable heating equipment.

18 Jan 2002 : Column 513W

Rural Regeneration

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what sources of (a) Government and (b) EU funding are available to (i) farmers, (ii) rural villages, (iii) rural businesses, (iv) local authorities, (v) parish councils and (vi) rural voluntary organisations to help regenerate rural economies. [27257]

Alun Michael: Many Government and European Union programmes contribute to the rural agenda.

Through the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Countryside Agency we support the market towns programme which is intended to regenerate some 120 small rural towns as well as a range of support measures to rural businesses via the rural development programme and redundant building grant scheme.

Through the Countryside Agency we support the Vital Villages programme which includes community service grants to support projects to maintain or introduce services which are local priorities; parish transport grants for small scale projects to meet local needs; parish plans grants to help 1,000 parishes draw up their own town or village plans to set out local needs and aspirations.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible for the following programmes which involve funding from the Government and from the European Community:

A more extensive list of potential sources of funding and advice for rural businesses can be found in Annex 1 of the Rural White Paper, "Our Countryside: the future, a fair deal for rural England" published in November 2000. A report on our progress on implementation of the Rural White Paper was included in "England's Rural Future", published on 12 December 2001, Official Report, column 920W.

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